...because YOU... with a little bit of ME... we're changing this choir!
Many blogs or books try to be "game-changers" or "life-transforming." They claim to have the "top 10 secrets to a great rehearsal." I do no such thing. Sometimes just a little something (a "bite") is sufficient. This isn't transformative, but it is useful. I'm going the long way around on this one, so stay with me.
At one point, my wife and I got into drinking wine. Not just in a casual way... I mean a "let's swirl it, sniff it, taste it, and analyze it" way. I like to go deep into my knowledge of any given hobby, so I started poking around on the internet researching wine. That's when I found Gary Vaynerchuk. Today, Gary V is a highly-sought-after guru in the world of social media and marketing for business. Gary V made his bones, however, growing his family wine store. A pioneer in content marketing, Gary V got people like me from around the country to buy wine online at his store through a daily vlog called "Wine Library TV." Each day, Gary V would taste wines and describe them with over-the-top, non-snooty language. He'd say "this wine straight up tastes like Fruity Pebbles," or "hit a deer on the road, let it fall down, throw a bunch of cherries on it, take your knife... cut the deer, bite it - that's the flavor profile here."
At the end of every video, Gary V would say, "because YOU... with a little bit of ME... we're changing the wine world!" As bizarre as it might sound, I believed the man. I, who had nevereverever been a wine guy, was FASCINATED with wine because it was made ACCESSIBLE, NOT STUFFY, and NOT SCARY. What is our job as vocal music educators? SAME. Make choral music ACCESSIBLE, NOT STUFFY, and NOT SCARY - in other words, ACHIEVABLE AND FUN.
When our choirs TAKE OUR INSTRUCTION and DO SOMETHING WITH IT, they are responsible for that improvement. It's SO CRUCIAL that we let them know they THEY are the ones who make things happen. There is power in ownership. WE have a role in providing guidance, but THEY have to do the work. THEY are the heroes of the story. That's why I now end my rehearsals with, "because YOU... with a little bit of ME... we're changing this choir!" Question of the day: What non-musician has inspired your music? @garyvee